With people experiencing victimisation for their sexual orientation and gender identity for decades, they’re undoubtedly parts of a sensitive topic and very personal aspect of people’s lives, as demonstrated by the passion and unity at London Pride parade on Saturday July 7.
As such, Vodafone commissioned Out Now, the market research firm, to investigate victimisation at work and the study revealed 58% of young LGBT+ workers are afraid of discrimination in the workplace and refuse to discuss their sexual orientation or identity. This has provoked the mobile network to introduce a buddy programme targeted at LGBT+ graduates, an updated code of conduct and other inclusive changes to its recruitment policy.
The findings were taken from 3,200 interviewees aged between 18 and 35 across 15 countries including the UK, Australia, Turkey, Germany and South Africa. The data also revealed 31% of LGBT+ people go “back in the closet,” especially when starting their first job, which rises to 41% for 18 to 25 year-olds.
Commenting on the move, Vittorio Colao, CEO of Vodafone, said: “Training for employees at all levels and visible signs of support through programmes like ours can make a real difference and help to attract and retain a talented, diverse and productive workforce. We are also encouraging all employees to educate themselves and support LGBT+ colleagues to help create a truly inclusive workplace.”
Despite the challenging nature and sensitivity of this process, it’s encouraging that companies are putting more effort into welcoming LGBT+ talent into their organisations.